Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | September 14, 2014

“Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.”

Today’s devotion comes from Deuteronomy 1:34-46.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy+1&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses –

“41 “Then you said to me, ‘We have sinned against the Lord;  we will indeed go up and fight, just as the Lord our God commanded us.’  And every man of you girded on his weapons of war, and regarded it as easy to go up into the hill country.  42 And the Lord said to me, ‘Say to them, “Do not go up nor fight, for I am not among you;  otherwise you will be defeated before your enemies.”’  43 So I spoke to you, but you would not listen.  Instead you rebelled against the command of the Lord, and acted presumptuously and went up into the hill country.  44 The Amorites who lived in that hill country came out against you and chased you as bees do, and crushed you from Seir to Hormah. 45 Then you returned and wept before the Lord;  but the Lord did not listen to your voice nor give ear to you.  46 So you remained in Kadesh many days, the days that you spent there.”  Deuteronomy 1:41-46.

——————-

Sometimes, our repentance is shorter than our request.  Sometimes, our bemoaning of our sins is shorter than our plan for action.  Sometimes, our repentance is more like rebellion than restoration.  In today’s Scripture, we see this type of presumptuous repentance.

But, we can use the example of Israel’s presumptuous repentance to meditate on Godly repentance.

First of all, let us seek that repentance that comes not as a work of man’s alleged free-will, but rather, as a gift of God’s grace.

“He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”  Acts 5:31

“When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.””  Acts 11:18

“The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.”  2 Timothy 2:24-26.

Second, consistent with repentance being a gift of God’s grace, Godly repentance is humble and waits on the LORD rather than being proud and presumptuous and intent on own action.

We see a fine example of this Godly repentance in Psalm Chapter 51.

“1 Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness;
According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity
And cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
And my sin is ever before me.
4 Against You, You only, I have sinned
And done what is evil in Your sight,
So that You are justified when You speak
And blameless when You judge.

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.
6 Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,
And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.
7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Make me to hear joy and gladness,
Let the bones which You have broken rejoice.
9 Hide Your face from my sins
And blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
And renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways,
And sinners will be converted to You.

14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, the God of my salvation;
Then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
That my mouth may declare Your praise.
16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it;
You are not pleased with burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.

18 By Your favor do good to Zion;
Build the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then You will delight in righteous sacrifices,
In burnt offering and whole burnt offering;
Then young bulls will be offered on Your altar.”  Psalm Chapter 51.

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